World’s largest LEG-carrier with nearly 38k ethane volume delivered

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche

22 November 2016

On November 11 the first vessel of the new ECO STAR 36k type, GasChem Beluga, was delivered to the owners Ocean Yield ASA in China. The design for this new type of vessel was developed under the lead of German ship owner Hartmann Reederei together with its long-term partners HB Hunte Engineering for the ship design and AC Inox delivering gas plant and equipment. “We are very happy to see the first vessel of this new design hitting the water with only a month delay”, says Jan-Lars Kruse, Managing Director of Hartmann Reederei. “It is a remarkable achievement in these challenging times and we are very grateful to all our partners and friends involved in this project. Every party involved pushed this project into the same direction and we could not have done it without each other.”

Reducing fuel consumption

The hull design is unique and highly efficient: The vessel’s superstructures are located at the bow, the engine at the stern, resulting in an excellent distribution of weight and a significant reduction of ballast water. In combination with the new “Svelte” bow design invented by Hartmann, this hull type leads to reduced, more efficient fuel consumption.

Cutting emissions

The innovative MAN main engine is capable to burn gas and traditional fuel alike. It is also the first ever 2-stroke engine operating on ethane and LNG with negligible methane slip − due to the diesel principle. As this technology reduces emissions considerably, it will enable the vessels of the ECO STAR type to meet future requirements on emission control.

Boost in cargo capacity

The cargo tanks are constructed in the new Star-Trilobe design developed by Hartmann and Stargas. This type of tank enables higher cargo flexibility and faster loading operations and provides an increase in cargo capacity of about 30% at the same ship dimensions and therefore significantly increasing economies of scale. At the sea trials, GasChem Beluga performed even better than anticipated: She needed less propulsion power to achieve and keep her speed, which again results in lower consumption. Additionally, her cargo volume of nearly 38,000 cbm turns her into the world’s largest LEG carrier. Upon delivery, GasChem Beluga entered into a long term bareboat charter between Ocean Yield and Hartmann and will be sublet back-to-back under a max. 15-year long term time charter to Saudi Arabian petrochemical company Sabic. She is already en route to Houston for taking the first ethane shipment destined for her first delivery in Europe before the end of the year. The Hartmann Group takes full ship management of the vessel, with Hartmann Gas Carriers conducting the technical-nautical operations and GasChem Services managing the commercial side. The second vessel of this type is scheduled for delivery in July 2017.